Showing posts sorted by relevance for query jiko. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query jiko. Sort by date Show all posts


Brazier (jiko)

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Jiko (brazier) and makaa (charcoal)

***** Location: Kenya
***** Season: Cool dry season
***** Category: Humanity


The Kenyan jiko (brazier) is used all year round, in most parts of Kenya, for cooking meals of all types and sizes. It is heated with charcoal, which itself is also available all year round.

In the cool dry season, however, the jiko obtains an additional quality as a kigo -- it warms the cold house, even while it is being used for cooking. And when it cools off again after the meal has been prepared, the family gather round and enjoy the heat from it for another while.

The more luxurious Kenyan hotels and restaurants provide jikos for their guests in the evening on the outdoor terraces, so as to provide some heat against the chill at this time of year. The jiko as a heater has the quality of a fireplace, in that the heat is concentrated, and one can approach to warm one’s hands or feet -- but it also needs careful supervision, in case a child strays too near and gets burnt.

Charcoal embers glowing in a jiko
Photo © Isabelle Prondzynski

Kenyan charcoal is prepared in particular regions and brought to towns and cities, where it is sold in containers of various sizes :

Charcoal seller in Kibera, Nairobi
© PHOTO : Ina’s Pics

Charcoal is particularly popular in rural regions and urban slums, where there is no electricity and hence, there are no electric cookers. It is also popular for jikos in general, as these can be moved anywhere and are often used, even by the wealthiest people, when there are festive meals to prepare, as these may require many stoves for the various dishes.

Text © Isabelle Prondzynski


Cooking a special meal on a large jiko
Photo © Isabelle Prondzynski

Very informative video here :
France24-EN report, October 2007

More links here :

Worldwide use


I have come across very similar braziers in very similar climates in the evenings of India too, where hotel guests sitting on a terrace were provided with this kind of mobile heat.

Haiku :

This is how I remember ironing shirts in India, with an iron piece heated by charcoal fire ...

black-out again !
the ironing wallah grabs
for the charcoals

~ Gabi Greve



. tadon 炭団 (たどん/ tandon たんどん ) charcoal briquette .
sumiuri, sumi-uri 炭売(すみうり)charcoal vendor, charcoal seller
and many more charcoal KIGO

Things found on the way

Charcoal is used by the maize roasters along the roadsides of Kenyan towns and cities, such as this one :

Photo © Isabelle Prondzynski

Charcoal irons are common in Kenya too, wherever there is no electricity.


charcoal business --
the day’s supplies arrive
by bike

~ Isabelle Prondzynski


my grandmother
spreading her hands over a jiko --
drizzly morning

my sister warming
a cold chick around a jiko --
drizzly evening

my father
roasting yams on a jiko --
dewy morning

~Esther Muthoni

neighbours waiting
for the wind to blow the jiko --
smokey room

traffic jam
caused by the charcoal lorry --
tired driver

family members
sitting around the jiko --
showery evening

charcoal seller
with a blackened face --
customers queue

~Peter Nguribu

clouds gathering,
the artisan struggles to finish the jiko --
imminent drizzle

~Patricia Nduta

Saturday evening
grandmother cooking githeri on a jiko --
red hot charcoal

Monday morning,
drying my uniforms on a jiko --
red hot charcoal

warming myself
around the jiko-
cold morning

~Onesmus Kyalo

my uncle
sits beside the hot jiko --
roasting meat

~Anne Wairimu

my mother
warming herself by the jiko --
drizzling morning

~Joseph Kilunda

cold night
crickets crying in fear --
charcoal crackling down

~Beryl Achieng

kids play around
a quickly burning jiko --
chilly morning

~ Judy

adding charcoal
to prepare dinner --
cold evening

~ Caroline Wanjiku

Cooking chapatis on a jiko
Photo © Isabelle Prondzynski

heating with jiko --
a busy man selling
roasted maize

jua kali artisan
modelling an iron sheet --
a young jiko

~ Martin Kamau

a charcoal iron
as clothes silently relax --
cold evening

~ James Bundi

grandmother shivering --
our lit up jiko
warms the room

~ Beryl Achieng'

rainy afternoon
mother in the kitchen
the jiko promises heat

~ Anne Wairimu

long queues
people demanding charcoal --
early risers

~ Solomon Kilelu

May evening --
my younger brother
beside the jiko

~ Jedida Nduku

an artisan
carefully mending a jiko --
cold afternoon

~ Peter Nguribu

beside a rusty jiko --
chilly morning

~John Mwangi

my uncle
sneezing and wiping eyes --
the jiko smoke

~ Catherine Njeri Maina


in the grandfather’s hut
kettle on top of the jiko --
chilly morning

around charcoal burner
grandfather meets grandchildren --
story time

~ Maurice Opondo

much cold --
jiko lit with charcoal
warms people up

~ aineah otieno

chattering teeth
a chill breeze blows --
jiko the only saviour

~ shamim mbone

chilly morning
red hot charcoal in a jiko
breakfast session

cold evening --
family around the jiko
talking together

~ ayoma david

women in a queue
waiting to be served --
demand for charcoal

dizzy kids
around the jiko --
drops of rain on the dishes

~ hussein haji

around the jiko
grandmum gives stories --
cure for the cold

~ Ann Wanjiru

red hot charcoal
boiling coffee on it --
chilly morning

~ Duncan Omoto


chilly June --
my little cat seats near
the jiko door

~ Kelvin Mukoselo

wind blows --
children point their
fingers around a jiko

children moving
around a jiko ---
enjoy legend stories

~ siboko yamame

late evening --
mummy lights a jiko
to cook ugali

~ Gladys Kathini

starlit night --
staring at the crescent moon
as I light the jiko

around the jiko
children talk and sing --
cold night

~ David Caleb Mutua


Charcoal vendor at a local market
Photo © Isabelle Prondzynski

cold season again
charcoal in demand --
dealers busy

four paraded jikos
outside a Soweto hotel
slowly burning up

a young man watches
charcoals passing on fire
from one to the other

early in the morning
mother lights a jiko --
smoke chokes her

~ Anthony Njoroge Irungu

Related words

***** Slum fires
(Swahili : moto (singular) mioto (plural))

***** Kotatsu, heated table Japan


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Slum fire, fires


Slum fires
(Swahili : moto (singular) mioto (plural))

***** Location: Kenya
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Humanity


The urban slums of Kenya are highly prone to fires.
This is due to a cumulation of causes.

Each homestead has as its main focus the jiko, the fireplace or brazier, where food is cooked and heat is generated in the cold season. The jiko can be the traditional three stones, with firewood or maize cobs used as fuel. In the urban areas, it will more commonly be a brazier using charcoal, or a small metal cooker using kerosene oil.

Light is produced by hurricane lamps burning kerosene. Most homes keep a small supply of kerosene for their lamps and jiko.

Houses are small, and many combustible materials are kept within close range of any of these open fires. People, possibly with trailing clothes, move around the vicinity, and sometimes children play too near the fireplaces. During the cold season, nights are chilly, and there can be a tendency to leave fires to burn themselves out slowly while people are already falling asleep.

Ironing is done with charcoal irons, using live coals.

Many Kenyans are smokers, and careless handling of cigarettes can also cause fires.

Some small businesses use open fires -- maize roasters, fish fryers and mandazi bakers. These fires are normally well supervised and in any case extinguished as night falls.

Slum homes may also be threatened by external circumstances. These are fires starting in their neighbours' homes, fires due to sparking electricity cables, and (in one terrible incident in September 2011) a fire at the Kenya Pipeline in the Sinai section of Lunga Lunga slum. The huge oil pipeline, which ran through the slum, sprung a leak, and the slum dwellers tried to catch the spilling oil. It caught fire and exploded, killing and burning many. Some people jumped into the burning Ngong River to quench the flames, and many drowned there.

Text and photo © Isabelle Prondzynski


Some terrible pictures here of the Sinai fire (explosion at the Kenya Pipeline)
source :

And a video of the scene :
source :


Written in August 2012

About a month ago, fire broke out in one of the houses in the Tujisaidie community in Soweto (in the Kayole suburb of Nairobi), and everything that the family owned was destroyed. Fortunately, no one was injured and the fire did not spread to neighbouring plots.

The community's youth group, Tumaini, was at that time welcoming a group of British visitors. Abandoning their guests to respond to the call for help, the youth ran to the site of the fire and, together with the neighbours, worked hard to put it out. This involved carrying water over quite a distance, as the pipes were dry at this time. The visitors helped as best they could, carrying jerricans of water in a long chain from the Nursery School water tank, until the flames had been quenched.

For the next day, they had planned a programme of calls to several projects in the community. But the visitors discussed the matter overnight and decided that helping to rebuild the burnt house was much more important. And so, they each contributed whatever funds they could, so that building materials could be bought, and the rest of the day was spent putting up a new corrugated iron house.

The rest of the community also got together. Everyone who could, donated some clothes, some pots and pans, a blanket and other essential items, to give the affected family a new start. Slum families support each other... and each of them had probably been helped by others already, at some other time...

Isabelle Prondzynski

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


as his fire crackles
there is laughter and chat --
maize roaster

last rays
of the red sunset --
maize roaster’s fire

evening cool --
the fish fryer’s fire
glows from afar

Isabelle Prondzynski


updates of fire
in Soweto on Facebook --
tears on my face

the fire --
Soweto goes dark
once again

still standing --
burnt electricity poles
telling the story

black smoke
engulfs the Soweto sunset --
a rush of helpers

water water
everyone calls --
flames and smoke

Antony Njoroge


Fire in Soweto, August 2012

fire outbreak --
a woman cries pleading
for quick help

rescue group --
the watching crowd
moves away

fire outbreak --
black smoke makes its way
to the atmosphere

~ Brian Mulando

singing a song
from a blackened Golden Bells --
smouldering remains

dancing smoke
from a burnt mattress --
village fire

~ James Bundi

On Saturday at dusk, after the fire tragedy that also destroyed a transformer and left a section of Soweto in darkness for three days, while we stood by watching the Kenya Power and Lighting Company staff fixing the transformer:

shooting star--
we mistake its bright streak
for power return

Patrick Wafula, August 22, 2012


thick smoke --
my eyes are drenched
with tears

she wails
on seeing burnt bodies --
Sinai inferno

oil floats on
sparkling sewage --
Ngong River

an injured boy
is lifted onto a stretcher --
rescue mission

Sinai heat --
flames bubbling in
the smokey sky

Sinai tragedy --
oil fumes linger
in the air

a pastor leads
the bereaved in prayer --
Sinai fire

Tom Mboya Hall --
a pile of burnt mabati
at the entrance

bereaved parade --
a photographer identifies
an impostor

~ Andrew Otinga
(on the Sinai Pipeline tragedy mentioned above)


fire tragedy --
a crying child asking
for her mother

Sinai fire --
displaced children
crying for food

Authors unknown


August cold --
a maize roaster pokes
his smouldering fire

Caleb Mutua


on a jam
dusty matatus on a stand still -
Nakumatt blaze

Nakumatt blaze was a great supermarket fire in 2009.

Siboko Yamame

. Matatu minibus .

Related words

***** Jiko (brazier) and makaa (charcoal)

***** WKD : Fire (kaji)
kigo for all winter in Japan



Power failure

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Power failure, power cut,
electricity rationing, blackout

***** Location: Kenya
***** Season: Long rains, short rains
***** Category: Humanity


In Kenya, we have power failures all year round, sometimes for days on end -- but when the rains start pelting down, we actually expect the power to go... (see First rainfall).

The rainy season brings power failures or power cuts, most commonly in the form of the sudden disappearance of electricity. The tropical rains being so heavy, vulnerable power lines can be damaged by the force of the floods caused by rainfall, and sometimes even masts come down. Electrical teams are in high demand at such times, and work around the clock to restore electricity as soon as possible.

Much of Kenya’s power is in the form of hydro electricity. The force of the rainfall can also damage dams, again leading to power cuts.

When generating capacity is damaged to such an extent that not sufficient power can be produced for the country, a period of electricity rationing may be declared. Newspapers carry the times when the various parts of the city and the country will not have power, and people organise their lives around the times when electricity is available. As the generating capacity of the country has considerably risen over the past decade, such periods are now few and far between.

The major schools and businesses have generators on stand-by, and these spring into action automatically, once there is no power coming through. Normal households enjoying electricity supplies have older fall-back technologies, in common with those not yet connected to the grid : candles, kerosene lamps, jiko (kerosene or charcoal brazier), gas cookers. The real nightmare is for those with fridges and freezers, as a power cut of more than 24 hours probably means that all the contents will be spoilt.

Most Kenyan homes, schools and small businesses do not yet have electricity (although this may soon change, as power lines are being expanded to many new areas) -- so that power cuts are really not all that important in the lives of ordinary Kenyans. Those homes which are connected, usually have few demands on electricity supplies -- the most important of these being light -- hence the frequent use of the word blackout to describe a power failure.

Kerosene lamp in action

Text and photo © Isabelle Prondzynski


Worldwide use

power outage –
barks spiral around
the neighbourhood

- Shared by Johannes Manjrekar -
Joys of Japan, 2012

Things found on the way


A blackout is more commonly a war time occurrence, when there may be lights used in the houses, but people try to make sure that none shows outdoors, so that the enemy planes cannot see where the houses are, where the factories or barracks are located, etc... I cannot remember this... but being a European, it is part of folk memory in that part of the world, and my parents remember it well.

~ Isabelle Prondzynski


We had the black out from 1943 to 1955 in Japan.

black out
remembering War time
winter seclusion

Sakuo Nakamura


after the rain --
cooking by candle light
in silence

power failure --
all the more visible
the full moon

candle night
hand in hand up the stairs
to find the bed

Cooking vegetables with a jiko

Haiku and photo © Isabelle Prondzynski


work pending
as blackout rages --
dark office

visitors arrive
think no one is in school --

Adelaide Luvandale


power failure again !
the ironing wallah grabs
for the charcoals

Gabi Greve, visiting India, 1980


power shortage --
torches glimmer in the
dark night

dark night --
people walk in the dimly
lit streets

Kelvin Mukoselo, Kenya
August 2009


candle light
glimmers in a dark room-
power rationing

Siboko Yamame
Kenya, August 2009


due to the current power crisis many people have resolved to the opposite
of doing stuff

power rationing--
a woman lights an old lamp
at the market

power rationing--
a long queue at the
old barber shop

water shortage--
a man whistles to a water
supply man

water shortage--
a zipless jacket abandoned
at the dry sink

two ducks feed
at a drying water pool--
dry august

a broken pot deserted
at the well

hot terrain--
dry tear stains on the young
pokot boy

dry august--
two pokot girls battle
over wild berries

Hussein Haji, August 2009
pokot a pastrolism tribe in north kenya.

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

The Pokot people
(commonly spelled Pökoot, and called Suk in older literature) live in the West Pokot and Baringo Districts of Kenya and in eastern Karamoja in Uganda.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


I grope for
our door knob-
black out

Andrew Otinga, March 2011


power failure --
does the moonlight
outdo the candle's?

James Bundi, June 2012

Related words

***** Jiko (both stove and brazier)

***** First rainfall, imminent rain

***** Candle Night


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Stars and Night Sky

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Stars and Night Sky

***** Location: Kenya
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Heavens


It all started with a challenge from Alan Summers to the members of Kenya Saijiki on 2 March 2007 :

Can I ask something?

Can I in fact, challenge you?! ;-)

I don't know how much clear night sky you can see, because of city lights, but where I live, in Bradford on Avon, because I am near the country, there are fewer street and house lights and I can see the Milky Way, and Orion's Belt, very clearly, can you see them?

Do you have different words for stars and groups of stars?

I would love to get to see haiku that involve the stars, from very local names to regional names, maybe your own names for stars too.

I hope it is okay to set a challenge?

Your fresh haiku is very inspiring to me, and that is how every person who writes haiku should be, constantly inspired by their neighbour's haiku.

Thank you very much for allowing me to share in your haiku,



Alan’s challenge was greeted enthusiastically, and the members of Kenya Saijiki set themselves a deadline of 30 March to submit their STARS and NIGHT SKY haiku, so that the best could be chosen and awarded prizes on 3 April 2007.

Submissions were sent to Kenya Saijiki anonymously, the identity of the students or adults only known to the authors, their Patrons and myself. Finally, all 142 haiku were handed over to Alan (backed by Gabi Greve in Japan and myself) for selection and evaluation.

The student prize winners of the Stars and Night Sky Challenge

The adults and students greeted the results at their meeting of 3 April 2007, and the happy prizewinners were cheered enthusiastically. It is encouraging that half the prizes were won by students in Form 1, who had been writing haiku for only two months or less. They have the benefit of support from their older schoolmates, who started last year, as well as from the experienced and dedicated Patrons of their haiku clubs. They are also making good use of their time in Form 1, before exam pressures begin to bite hard, particularly in Forms 3 and 4!

The prize winning haiku are to be found below -- enjoy!

Text and photo © Isabelle Prondzynski


Total Eclipse of the Moon

While the Challenge was taking its course, many parts of the world were treated to a spectacular total ecliupse of the moon on 3 March 2007. News of this event reached Kenya too late, but those members of Kenya Saijiki who were at that time outside Kenya, enjoyed one of the most spectacular eclipses in years.

Isabelle Prondzynski

WKD : ECLIPSE and Haiku

Photo © Gerry Lynch
Eclipse and Haiku


McNaught Comet

We also enjoyed information about the Comet McNaught, which had been visible in many parts of the world in January 2007 :

The second URL takes a while to open -- it contains beautiful photos and haiku about McNaught sightings around the world.

Our no. 12 prizewinner, Walter Otieno, was one of those who saw the comet and admired its long tail -- see his haiku below.

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Alan was so enthusiastic about the first entries received, that he could not resist reading some of them at the Destination : World event at the University of the West of England on 16 March 2007!
University of the West of England


The Prizewinners

Students :
With the comments of Alan Summers :

around the bonfire --
a shooting star

~ Anne Njoki (Bamboocha, Form 1)

Storytelling is such an important part of culture in any country, and here we have other strong words that carry so much weight, in "bonfire" and "shooting star". What a lovely atmosphere is evoked here, and that is a very important part of haiku, evoking (showing) not telling, not putting everything onto the page, yet it's all there to be read if you look for it.

pointing at the full moon --
the baby stops crying
as she watches the moon

~ Catherine Njeri Maina (Bamboocha)

The other person doesn't need to be mentioned in any more words, because we can all imagine it is either our older brother or sister, an aunt, an uncle, or a parent, sharing the wonder of the moon with a child. Wonderful!

a thief stealing
from our neighbour's shop --

~ Caren Cheptoo (Bamboocha, Form 1)

This has a good allusion to a classic haiku, and I can imagine more than one meaning here. It could be a straight meaning of a thief stealing or trying to steal from a shop at night, or a thief "window shopping" at night and all he can steal is the moonlight. A good haiku is where readers can take different meanings from the poem and add a little of themselves, so a haiku is not only the shortest poem in the world, but when people share their own
meanings it also becomes the longest poem in the world!

dark night --
people sleep
and snore

~ Felix Ogutu (Falcon)

This is packed with sounds and movement, and has that lovely sense of gentle humour that a haiku can have!

starlit night
staring at the crescent moon
as I light the jiko

(jiko is Swahili for a brazier used for cooking and heating)

~ David Caleb Mutua (Peacock)

Ah, light on light! Wonderful. We have the starlight, and the author is about to "light" another light (the jiko) which also heats and cooks, and all the time, the author is also staring at the light of the moon!

a woman's song --
over her garden stand
the Scorpion

~ Samuel Ndung’u (Bamboocha, Form 1)

Good simple haiku, with layers of meaning if you want to hunt for them. Of all the constellations, the author has chosen the Scorpion, intriguing, and using the great teasing serious humour that a haiku can hint at.

late evening,
on the bumpy road --
stars in the side mirror

~ Irene Akoth (Bamboocha, Form 1)

This haiku has all the ingredients to make it a "micro novel"! The language is simple, it shows, rather than tells, which is a good thing to do with haiku, and all this without any verbs too. Remarkable!

I get sounds, smells, I'm jolted on a journey, and it reminds me of my time travelling through the Australian Bush in the Northern Territory!

in a trough --
a moth flaps its wings
shaking the stars

~ Raymond Otieno (Bamboocha)

I love "shaking the stars"! This haiku contains an important part of haiku, and that is the life / death cycle, and what better choice than a moth, but not one burnt in a candle, but in water, flapping, and shaking the stars. Many levels to appreciate here on re-readings too!

silent night --
no noise apart from light
from the moon

~ Joan Barasa (Peacock)

We may not really "hear" the moon, or even the stars in the night sky, but I love "no noise apart from light from the moon"! There is in fact a sound we can pick up by scientific means, but a poet always does the same without needing them!

spread over the sky,
showing Abraham’s descendants --

~ Leonard Imboyoka (Falcon)

This is quite a different style of haiku, and I like "Abraham's descendants", very original. After all, aren't we all one people, and as numerous as the stars? A very good original haiku.

slowly, lovers
walking in the darkness --
a falling star

~ John Mwangi (Bamboocha, Form 1)

Good use of grammar. I am transported immediately, and feel an empathy, a sharing, of the experience.

across the clear sky --
the long glowing tail
of a comet

~ Walter Otieno (Bamboocha)

What a wonderful image and sense of atmosphere this conjures up.

dark-blue sky,
full of twinkling stars --
barking dogs

~ Anne (Falcon)

I like the fact that it is both a fact there are barking dogs, but that I could also think of the stars as barking dogs! Great metaphor, whether intended or not, it's something that occurs in a well written poem.

children playing
outside without fear --
full moon

~ Mary Obwamo (Bamboocha, Form 1)

Very beautiful!

the donkey braying
on the narrow path --
starry dawn

~ Vivian Adhiambo (Bamboocha, Form 1)

Very real!


Adults :

Adult prizewinners of the Stars and Night Sky Challenge

a twilight girl
running on the street --
glittering stars

~ James Macharia (Bahati)

I love the stunning "a twilight girl" which falls headlong into a great poem!

moon and stars
the only witnesses --
two lovers eloping

~ Patrick Wafula (Patron, Bamboochas)

Very very atmospheric!

clouds move
some stars are covered
it darkens

~ Adelaide Luvandale (Patron, Peacocks)

A very chilling, moody, atmospheric last line, I love it!

clouds move slowly
unveiling a lone bright star
in the west

~ Anne Nechesa (Patron, Peacocks)

I really like that word choice of "unveiling" which extends the poem, an important technique in such a short poetry form as a haiku.

Congratulations to all!


Other entries

Students :

pale dawn --
the Scorpion paving
way for the sun

my brother jumping
on the corridor,
clapping at Gemini

~ Anne Njoki (Bamboocha, Form 1)

comets around
shining moon --
wakes the crickets

twinkling stars --
fireflies glow around
full moon

~ Depporah Mocheche (Bamboocha)

under the flowers --
cry of crickets and
twinkling stars above

over our house --
round face of the moon
peering between clouds

~ Raymond Otieno (Bamboocha)

in the sky --
round face of the moon
among twinkling stars

the moon behind
dark clouds, few stars --
more darkness

dark-blue sky --
moon rising from
behind cypress trees

a young boy gazing
at the glittering stars --
full moon

a cold breeze
under the twinkling sky --
a shooting star

~ Catherine Njeri Maina (Bamboocha)

out at night,
looking towards heaven --
the Gemini

twinkling stars,
pattern in the sky --
the Orion

at night
over the shop
light of Scorpion

twinkle twinkle,
little star in the sky --
I wonder what you are

I see light,
no lamp around --
but the moon

what is that
above the sky --
shooting star

my brother talking
in his sleep -
ray of moonlight

opening the door at night --

~ Samuel Ndung’u (Bamboocha, Form 1)

shooting star
across the dark-blue sky --
silent night

bright moon,
Orion blinking --
peaceful night

glowing stars
on a cloudless blue floor --
sound of crickets

bright night,
Orion sparkling --
sleeping dogs

~ Cyprian Awino (Bamboocha)

singing and playing
in the wheat field --
the southern cross

late from trip,
we yawn and laugh --
the crescent

warm bright night -
charm and splendour
from the stars

~ Irene Akoth (Bamboocha, Form 1)

in the lawn, parent giving
advice to her young ones --
a shooting star

streak of lightning,
cutting across the dark sky --
night rain

bats flap their wings
across the full moon --
children singing

~ Mary Obwamo (Bamboocha, Form 1)

a shooting star,
interrupting the dark night --
lighted faces

~ Francis Mwangangi (Bamboocha, Form 1)

an aeroplane
passing in the sky --
glittering stars

washing cloths outside --
shooting star

a child crying
somewhere in the darkness --
glittering sky

looking up the sky --
a half moon

~ Caren Cheptoo (Bamboocha, Form 1)

story time --
children laugh at fireplace
as moon shines

jumping up and down,
children admiring the bright moon --
hour before dinner

~ Frederick Mwale (Bamboocha, Form 1)

beautiful sky --
glittering stars spreading
throughout the heavens

~ Caroline Wanjiru (Falcon)

a clear sky,
stars twinkle brightly --
morning star

the sky is blue
like still water in a lake --
glittering stars

~ Carolyne Wangui (Falcon)

up the sky --
stars twinkle and shine
forming beautiful patterns

~ Beatrice Wanjiku (Falcon)

a dull sky
with no moon -
dull night

~ Milly Wambui (Falcon)

the sky at night --
falling stars twinkle

~ Joseph Musombi (Falcon)

high stars shining,
round-shaped moon --
children playing outdoors

watchmen well armed,
light shining from the sky --
chilly night

~ Margret Wanjiru (Falcon)

bright blue sky,
studded with diamonds --

~ Joyce Ng’amure (Falcon)

cloudy sky,
stars not twinkling --
cold night breeze

~ Hillary Indako (Falcon)

blue sky,
stars twinkle high--
half moon

~ John Okwaro (Falcon)

shiny tiny dim lights,
scattered all over the blue sky --
play song of children

children cheering
at spectacular cluster of stars --
their play song

~ Boniface Mutua (Falcon)

a serene sky --
yells and screams break the silence,
waking Jane

bats gnash their teeth,
searching for their dinner
under the night sky

~ Patrick Gakuo (Falcon)

clouds in the sky,
storm is about to strike --
thunder bolt

~ Lucy Maina (Falcon)

in a bright sky,
moon hanging lonesomely --

~ Nancy Akinyi (Falcon)

stars twinkle
producing light
that shines in the sky

~ Hamza Shaban (Falcon)

the blue sky
glittering with stars --
silent night

when darkness knocks,
stars open and glitter --
night splendour

~ Rebecca Syokau (Falcon)

the moon
looking through blue eyes --
flashing diamonds

~ Jane Njeri (Bamboocha Form 1)

dark clouds
blocking the moonlight --
night drizzle

~ Mercy Wangui (Peacock)

at night --
the dog barks at
the shining moon

~ Josephine Wanjiku (Peacock)

husband and wife
arguing loudly --
starry night

~ Anne Wairimu (Peacock)

people chasing
cattle rustlers --
starry night

~ Stephen Nzomo (Peacock)

the watchman
lighting a fire --
full moon

Kioko bathing
in cold water at night…
the stars

~ Sarah Adero (Peacock)

stressed Grace
crying in her dark room --
bright stars

~ Irene Muthengi (Peacock)

in the morning,
my brother preparing to go to school --
morning star

at night
our young brother crying --

~ Grace Nyambura (Peacock)

the bright moon
and few glittering stars
on a cloudy night

from the cardinal points
lays the dull sky with
very shiny stars

it is very silent
clouds seem to be moving
and the stars glitter

quietly the moon shines
as the stars glitter beautifully
making the sky wonderful

how wonderful
is the sky with millions
of glittering stars

the sky is clear
stars make it wonderful
as they glitter

meteorites shift
from point to point --
dim moom appears

cloudish sky --
stars glitter in the distance,
where is the moon

clear sky
with cloudish patterns --
beautiful stars glitter

the moon doesn't
appear its late but stars
still glitter silently

silence in the sky
stars glitter quietly making
the sky beautiful

~ Hussein Hajji (Peacock)

after the sunset
crickets make a lot of noise
welcome the bright sky

on the shiny stars
lighting up the whole village
business continues

attracting the eye
one in the midst of many
sharing to light up

~ Loise Wangeci (Peacock)

it is at night
moon shines brightly
a wonderful night

~ Jacinta Minoo (Peacock)

the twinkling stars
shining on a blue broaad sky
many stars shining

~ Barrack Elungata (Peacock)

silent bright sky
the night is beautiful
there is no rain

~ Anonymous (Peacock)

how cold is today
the cloud covering the sky
signs of rain

where are the stars
clouds hiding them
a lot of darkness

area with light
coming from stars
the light in the streets

how lightful is the moon
a lot of light from
it and stars

beautiful clouds
hiding the stars --
the moon shines

stars everywhere
shining and glittering --
stars are beautiful

how bright is the moon
glittering a lot of light --
moon is bright

~ Sebastian Kimeu (Peacock)

the night is bright
the stars are glittering all over
there is silence

the sky is bright
the moon and the stars are
glittering leaving a bright light

the sky is bright
because of the moon
and the glittering stars

the dark has covered
the sky leaving the dark all over --
no moon or stars

the sky is silent --
stars are glittering very brightly
and the moon is shining

bright sky --
light all over from
moon and stars

sky full of brightness --
the stars are glittering
and the moon shining

~ Joan Barasa (Peacock)

stars all over
in the blue beautiful sky
they are lovely

beautiful sky
stars shining all over
the night is bright

~ Kelvin Mukoselo (Peacock)

full moon
that is the Gods touch
mama tells me

countless stars shining overhead
God knows their name!

beautiful starry night
shooting stars burning bright
what a scene!

~ David Caleb Mutua (Peacock)

silence up there --
lonely moon shivers
as stars glitter quietly

as stars glitter
the moon appears late at nine --
silence up there

clear sky --
stars accompany
the lonely moon

lonely is the moon
and the sky with glittering stars --
the moon appears

lonely moon --
the stars scattered all over,
making it beautiful

stretching from
north to south pole, the dark sky
is seen with dim moon

~ Peris Wanjiru (Peacock)

the lonely stars
all the night --
glittering sky

uncountable stars
moving from one end,
making the sky beautiful

I see the stars
as they glitter
all night

I see the stars
randomly moving --
glittering hours

the bright stars
over the clouds,
as they glitter

~ Mary Sharon (Peacock)

moon in the sky
produce light at night while
the stars shine all over

how beautiful stars are
at night glittering and shining
while moon produces light

~ Peris Njeri (Peacock)


vast dark-blue roof
studded with glittering lights --
night sky

~ Patrick Wafula (Patron, Bamboochas)

young people
dancing together --
kililimbi night

(kililimbi is Swahili for "flame" -- fire or liveliness)

shooting in the street,
a thief killed --
bright moon

~ James Macharia (Bahati)

stars shine
we have full moon
I see a passing star

on the horizon
I see stars and moon
it's very beautiful

it's very bright
though its midnight
I see full moon

~ Adelaide Luvandale (Patron Peacocks)

lighting the sky
little stars twinkle
in bright clusters

falling from the sky
the bright star shines
to unknown destination

~ Anne Nechesa (Patron Peacocks)


Alan Summers, the originator of the Stars and Night Sky Challenge, also published our results in his own Blog, Area 17, thus opening them to a new readership :

Related words

***** .. .. .. .. MOON and its LINKS..

***** ..... Southern Cross

***** Leonid Meteor Shower .. .. Geminid Meteor Shower

Haiku Clubs of Nairobi

Please send your contributions to
Gabi Greve / Isabelle Prondzynski
worldkigo .....

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Sufuria cooking pot

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Sufuria cooking pot

***** Location: Kenya
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Humanity


A Sufuria (Swahili plural sufuria, English plural sufurias)
is a Swahili language word, adopted in East African English, for a flat based, deep sided, lipped and handleless cooking pot or container or saucepan, ubiquitous in Kenya, parts of Tanzania and surrounding nations.A replacement for more traditional crockery containers (ek fara), it used in most every Kenyan household for cooking, serving and storing food.
Most Sufuria are today aluminum, produced and purchased locally in the informal sector.
Sufuria were traditionally used to cook over open fire, charcoal brazier (a jiko), or coals, and are purchased in a variety of sizes, with and without lids.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Frying flying termintes
in a sufuria


Kenya Saijiki Fourm

hot tea from sufuria
scalds my brother --
chilly morning

Anne Wairimu
April 2007


lovely new morning -
frying pans and sufurias
this is Christmas day

Jacinta Minoo
January 2007


warm steam from
the boiled maize sufuria--
evening showers

Hussein Haji

Maize Haiku

Related words

***** -- Jiko (brazier)



Seasonal Words and Topics - List

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.................... List of Seasonal Words
from Kenya and other tropical areas


In Kenya, we have the following haiku seasons:

.. .. .. hot dry season
.. .. .. long rains
.. .. .. cool dry season
.. .. .. short rains

Some of the rainy season kigo appear twice in the course of the year.


.. .. .. .. .. Seasonal Items

hot and dry season
(roughly November to March, with January being the hottest month)

-- Buying textbooks
-- Buying school uniforms
-- Cassia blossom Golden Shower Tree (Cassia fistula). Drumstick Tree (Moringa oleifera).
-- Caterpillar, Hairy Caterpillar
-- Census
-- Christmas worldwide

-- Dry lips
-- Dust
-- Exam resultsKCPE and KCSE Exam Registration and Results
-- February rainfall
-- First things, New Year
-- Form One entrants and monolisation
-- Frangipani, Plumeria
-- Goat Meat, also Goats in general
ice cream
-- Jamhuri Day (12 December)
-- January
- - - - Njaanuary ( njaa and (Jan)nuary
-- Maasai Cattle (Masai Cattle)
-- Mabati shimmering roofs
-- Maize, Green Maize (for corn/maize see below)
-- Mango (ripe fruit)
-- National Drama Festival
-- New Year
--- New Year's resolution 2012
open shoes
-- Orchid Show, Nairobi
-- Papyrus and other grasses couch grass, napier grass, African star grass
-- Paying school fees
-- peaches, ripe peaches
-- Plums, ripe plums, plum fruit
-- Scorching sun
-- Smell of urine
-- Start of new school year Kenya
... ... see also Start of Schoolyear, worldwide
-- sweating
Valentine’s Day, St Valentine’s Day, Valentine
-- vest
-- Water shortage , drought
-- Weeds
-- World AIDS Day


long rains (roughly March to May)

-- Amaranth, Amaranthus leaf vegetable
-- Bombax blossom
-- First rainfall, imminent rain
-- bullfrogs Frog (kawazu, kaeru) worldwide
-- Easter
-- flooding
-- flying termites kumbi kumbi
-- Grass, fresh grass, green grass, young grass
-- Guava fruit
-- Gumboots, gum boots
-- heavy raindrops
-- Ibis (Hadada)
-- Labour Day
-- Long Rains Haiku by Bahati Club
-- Long Rains
-- Mabati roofs rusting and harvesting rainwater
Mater Hospital Heart Run
-- Mosquitoes in Kenya

-- Mud (Swahili : matope)
including: Brickmaking, Dry mud, Bukusu Initiation (Circumcision)  
-- Mudslide, landslide

-- Palm Sunday
-- Plantation activities
-- Pneumonia
-- Power failure, blackout     
-- Puddle, puddles
-- rain shower
-- Rhinoceros beetle , a scarab beetle
-- Sand harvesting, sand mining
-- Shoe wiper
-- Stepping stones, step-stone bridge  
-- Thorn tree flowers
-- UEFA league
-- Umbrella
-- Urine smell, smell of urine


cold, cool and dry season
(roughly from June to September, with July being the coldest month)

-- August moon
-- Avocado pear (Kikuyu : Mûkorobîa)
-- Beanie cap Kenya
-- Budget Day
-- Bukusu Initiation / Circumcision
-- Cold Dew (kanro) worldwide
-- Cold dry season, cool dry season   
-- Cold water

Datura suaveolens, Moonflower, Angel's Trumpet, trumpet plant
-- Day of the African Child (16 June)  
-- Dust
-- Euro Games, UEFA European Football Championship
-- Glove, gloves
-- Frangipani, Plumeria       
-- freezing
-- Hawkers for warm things glove, hot coffee, uji maize porridge, scarf, sweater ...
Irish potatoes (viazi)
-- Jiko (brazier)
-- July
-- Loquat, loquats - fruit
-- Maasai Cattle (Masai Cattle)
-- Mabati roors collect dew
-- Madaraka Day (1 June)
-- Maize, Green Maize
-- Martyrs’ Day Uganda
-- Morning glory, fam. Ipomoea (

-- Nairobi Bomb Day (7 August)
-- Nairobi International Trade Fair (end of September)
-- no meetings (August)
-- Oranges (Swahili : Mchungwa)
Referendum August 2010
-- Sunflower
-- Sesbania Tree (Sesbania sesban (L.) Merr.)
-- Shivering, to shiver
-- start of university year
-- Weeds


short rains (roughly October and November)

-- Aramanthus, vegetable
-- bullfrogs > Frog (kawazu, kaeru) worldwide
-- First rainfall, imminent rain
-- Ocotber rain
-- Flamboyant Tree (Swahili : Mjohoro)
-- Flooding in 2006
-- flying termites kumbi kumbi
-- Graduation Ceremony in Kenya
... ... see also Graduation (sotsugyoo) worldwide
-- sGrevillea tree Grevillea Robusta . Mgrivea (Swahili), Mûkima (Kikuyu)
-- Gumboots, gum boots
-- Jacaranda blossom
-- heavy raindrops
-- Kenyatta Day
-- Messiah for the Hospice

-- Moi Day (10 October) renamed :
. . Mashujaa Day since 2010
-- Mosquitoes in Kenya
-- Mud (Swahili : matope)
-- Mudslide, landslide

-- Nairobi Marathon
-- -- Plantation activities
-- Power failure, blackout
-- Puddle, puddles
-- Shoe wiper

-- School exams KCSE / KCPE
------ Short Rains and more kigo about this season
-- Stepping stones, step-stone bridge
-- Thorn tree - fresh leaves
-- Tipu tree (Tipuana tipu)
-- Umbrella

.. .. .. Glossary of Kenyan Terms and more Haiku Topics


............. Topics for which the season changes

-- Diwali (Devali, Divali)
-- Ramadan in Kenya
-- Ramadan ends (Idd ul Fitr)


............. Non-seasonal Topics

Ageing ... Getting old in Kenya. Grandfather, Grandmother
Akala ... Sandals
Aloe vera
Arfat, scarf of a muslim woman
Arusha Tanzania
. . . Brick making in Arusha
. . . Namanga-Arusha Highway Road

Banana ring, to carry things
Bat, bats . . . and the Mukuyu tree
Bisquits and cookies
Boda boda, motorbike taxi, motorcycle taxi
Boma Homesteads
Buibui, to cover the head and face of a Muslim woman face veil
Bukusu Culture, Babukusu People
Bull fighting, bullfight
Bunche Road, Nairobi

Calabash, calabashes, gourd
Camel, Dromedary, Kamel, Dromedar
Casuarina Tree
Central Park, Children's Traffic Park
Chapati, flatbread Chokoraa, chokora - "street boy" or "parking boy"
Coconut, coconuts, coconut milk
Coffee plant blossoms, coffee blossoms
Crickets, cricket

Dandora, Municipal Garbage Site Nairobi
Day Moon
Demolitions in Patanisho, Nairobi
Duck, ducks

Elections, general election 2013
Eucalyptus tree Fam. Myrtaceae

Fences and hedges
Firefinch fam. Lagonosticta
First things
Flame tree (Erythrina fam.)
Flies, Fly, Housefly, Fruitfly
Fountain (in a park)

Garbage, sewers, sewerage
Gilgil, town in the Rift Valley
Grevillea tree

Hell's Gate National Park

Irio (mûkimû)
Isukuti Dance

Jackfruit, fenesi
Jeevanjee Gardens and Alibhai Mulla Jeevanjee
Jua kali artisans

Kabaka of Uganda
Kajiado mission
Kale, kales, a cabbage (sukumawiki)
Kamba People A funeral in Ukambani
Kamukunji constituency, Nairobi
Kanga, kangas, wrapping cloth
Karura forest
Kasarani Constituency

Kenya Railway Museum Kukai August 2010
Kenyatta National Hospital,Nairobi
Khamsin wind Egypt, North Africa
Khat, miraa (Catha edulis)
Kiambu County
Kibanda hut, kiosk, stall
Kibera Slums
Kigali, Rwanda
Kikoi. kikoy - garment, shawl
Kiondo handbag (chondo, pl. vyondo)
Kisii in Nyanza Narok plains, Ogembo Street
Kisongo Market Tanzania
Kitale Town in Western Kenya
kitenge - garment

Koinange mall and street, Nairobi
Komarocks play ground and Embakasi
Korogocho slum
kuku choma - grilled chicken

Lang'ata - Nairobi
Limuru town in Kiambu West Distarict
Longido Hills
Lugari Forest

Machakos town, Masaku
Magadi, Lake Magadi in the Rift Valley
Maize (Swahili : Mahindi, American : Corn, South African : Mealies)
managu vegetable
Masai, Maasai, Massai ... indigenous African ethnic group of semi-nomadic people located in Kenya
Mandazi, a kind of doughnuts ndazi (singular)
Marabou Stork, Leptoptilos crumeniferus
Marikiti Farmers' Market Nairobi
Market, markets
Matatu minibus
Mathare Youth Sports Association, MYSA Mathare Valley slums
Matuu town
Mavoko county
Mitumba (singular : mtumba) second-hand goods
Mkokoteni - hand cart, pushcart pl. mikokoteni
Monkey, monkeys
Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro
Mtumba (singular) / mitumba (plural) used items
Mugumo tree
mutura - Kenyans Saussage
Murang'a town
murram mud roads
Mzungu, muzungu ... person of European descent... "white person"

Nairobi City
Haile Selassie Avenue, Soweto Market, Wakulima Market, Thika road, Tom Mboya street, Marikiti market, Kawangare slums, Kibera slum . . .

Ngaramtoni at the flank of Mount Meru
Newspaper vendor, newspaper boy
Nightjar (Fam. Caprimulgus)
Night life
Njiru Market
Njiiru Plains
Nyama choma - roast meat

Passion fruit, Passiflora edulis
Pawpaw tree(Asimina) paw paw, paw-paw, papaw
Peace (Swahili : Amani)
Pig, pigs
Pine tree, Pinus Patula
Pineapple, Ananas comosus
Pokot people West Pokot and Baringo Districts of Kenya
Pomelo (Citrus maxima or Citrus grandis) Chinese grapefruit
Posho mill, poshomill -- to grind wheat, maize and other grains

Rift Valley
Royal Palm Tree Roystonea regia

Sewer, sewage in Soweto
shuka - blanket
shamba - food garden
Sinai slum fire, September 2011
Sisal (Agave sisalana)
..... Sisal and makongeni paths
Slasher to cut grass
Smoke and smog
Snake, Snakes
Sorghum (mtama) and milled porridge (uji)
Sowbug, a brown snail
Sufuria .. cooking pot or saucepan

Tea (Swahili : chai)
-- thermos container
Tilapia fish
Toilet, outhouse
Tomato, tomatoes
Trans-Mara region

Ugali and Uji, maize porridge
Ukwala, Muthurwa, Luthuli Avenue
Umbrella tree / Schefflera actinophylla
Upland rice

Voi, Sagala hill

Weaver birds (Ploceidae family)
Webuye Town
Westgate Attack, Mall Attack, September 2013

Wimbi, bulo ... Millet
Wood, firewood
World Environment Day (5 June)



Haibun . Haiku in Combination

Construction and Development

. Kiswahili Haiku


...................................... Other Tropical SAIJIKI

WKD: Trinidad and Tobago Saijiki


.. .. .. .. .. National Holidays in Kenya

l Jan -- New Year's Day -- International New Year's Day Holiday
> -- WKD ... : New Year (shin-nen)

Varies -- Good Friday -- Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ
> -- WKD ... : Easter

Varies -- Easter Monday -- Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ
> -- WKD ... : Easter

1 May -- Labour Day -- International Day of the Worker
> -- see also : Labour Day, USA

. . . . .

Mashujaa Day

10 Oct -- Moi Day -- Established on the 10th day of the 10th month 10 years after the inauguration of President Daniel arap Moi as the second President of Kenya.
October 2010:
The new constitution scrapped Moi Day and replaced Kenyatta day with Hero's (Mashujaa) Day in efforts to celebrate the men and women who fought for Kenya's freedom .

20 Oct -- Kenyatta Day -- This is to commemorate the arrest of Jomo Kenyatta and the declaration of the State of Emergency on 20 October 1952.
October 2010:
The new constitution scrapped Moi Day and replaced Kenyatta day with Hero's (Mashujaa) Day in efforts to celebrate the men and women who fought for Kenya's freedom .
Jomo Kenyatta

. . . . .

12 Dec -- Uhuru or Jamhuri Day -- This is to commemorate the day on which Kenya achieved its Independence, on 12 December 1963.
> -- Jamhuri Day

25 Dec -- Christmas Day -- Christian holiday celebrating the Birth of Jesus Christ.
> -- Bahati Haiku Club : Christmas
> -- WKD ... : Christmas

26 Dec -- Boxing Day -- celebrating St Stephen's Day and the second
day of the Christmas season.
> -- WKD ... St Stephen's Day

Varies -- Idd ul Fitr
The Muslim festival of Idd-ul-Fitr is also a public holiday and takes place on the sighting of the new moon at the end of Ramadhan. The exact date varies according to the position of the New Moon.


.. .. .. .. .. .. Annual events in Kenya

Apart from big celebrations that are held on Madaraka, Kenyatta and Independence Days, Nairobi is also the venue for a number of large international and national sports matches. Nairobi further enhances its cosmopolitan image by hosting a number of annual shows and

The Kenya Schools Music Festival is held in Nairobi in May/June and

The Agricultural Society of Kenya (A.S.K.) Show takes place at Jamhuri Park at the end of September or beginning of October. See Nairobi International Trade Fair

The long established and international Safari Rally begins and ends in Nairobi - drawing ever larger crowds.


Introduction to the

Haiku Clubs of Nairobi


More LINKs in the Kenya Saijiki

Getting to Know Kenya

Poetry and Literature of Kenya

Music of Kenya, by Douglas Paterson

Missionaries in Kenya

Wildlife in Kenya

Plants and Animals of Kenya, LIST by Allen & Nancy Chartier

Kakamega Forest Birds

Nature Kenya Organization


Editor: Isabelle Prondzynski


Kutoka Wikipedia, kamusi elezo huru: HAIKU

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